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Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite

Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite


So, back at the beginning of February 2019 DJ marshmallow performed a live concert inside Epic Games’ online gaming
sensation Fortnite, and I have since then being informed via numerous breathy
think pieces that Fortnite is no longer merely a game but is now a content
delivery platform experience and so logically the only sensible thing for me
to do is to get in on this and pivot entirely to Fortnite. Welcome to the brand-new Folding Ideas
all Fortnite digital studio that is not only a digital studio because I’m
producing digital content but it is also literally a digital studio. It is double
digital. And this this arm-waving emote is the only meaningful animation I’ve
got and there’s nothing available that really looks like talking so I, I guess
it’s what I’m going with for now. So when you see me doing this it means I’m
talking to you. It took me like 20 hours to unlock this. Fortnite, developed by
Epic Games, is an online four-player cooperative base-building tower-defense
shooter game released as “early access with in-game purchases” in July 2017. The
game has since been utterly eclipsed by it’s free-to-play sub-game Fortnite Battle
Royale launched in September 2017. Battle Royale, a format popularized by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and originally inspired by the 2000 Japanese horror
film ‘Battle Royale’ is a last player standing free-for-all where 100 players
are dropped onto an island with an ever-shrinking zone of engagement and
left to scrounge resources, build defences, and fight until only one remains. In the
wake of the success of Fortnite Battle Royale the original Fortnite has been
renamed Fortnite: Save the World. A critical bit of Fortnite’s development
comes from the involvement of Chinese multimedia firm Tencent. In 2012 Epic Games
approached Tencent for help with the then-fledgling Fortnite seeking their
input on turning the game into a live service platform, meaning it would
function as an ongoing revenue stream rather than simply being a single
purchase product. Tencent agreed to help and supply additional financial
resources and expertise in exchange for being allowed to purchase a 40% stake in
the company, an arrangement to which Epic agreed. Following the merger a number of
high-profile staff retired from Epic including Cliff Bleszinski, Adrian
Chmielarz, Lee Perry, and Rod Fergusson; all to one degree or another citing
dissatisfaction with either the Tencent merger, the games as a service business
model, or both. But that’s not what you’re here for.
You don’t want a history lesson placing Fortnite into an appropriate
cultural context. You’re here for hot Fortnite player on player action. It’s “player versus player” wait what did I say so remember to follow me on twitch TV
slash I kill weed names because you can enjoy what the earth-mother gave us but
that isn’t the same as having a personality. one of the things in particular that
stands out to me about the meta-narrative surrounding Fortnite~ hey, isn’t it weird how hostile the
free-to-play track is? Like it’s not simply structured to drive paying for
something or another it actually starts~ Okay so what’s all basic about a concert~ Okay, so what all this about a concert in Fortnite? An February 2nd
2019 Christopher Comstock, who performs under the DJ name Marshmello, played a
10-minute concert in Fortnite’s Pleasant Park Or, more accurately, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Time players who joined a special Marshmello concert game-mode got to
watch a scripted concert event during which weapons and damage were
deactivated to ensure that players couldn’t be griefed and that the event
wouldn’t be interrupted with gunfire and explosions. It’s maybe a bit of a
pointless hair to split, the fact that the concert was pre-recorded and not
actually live, but I mean that’s what we do here. We deconstruct narratives and
the idea that this was a live set was very much part of the narrative. The
fiction extended to the fact that the mini set was added to Marshmello’s tour
schedule. A significant component of the implicit messaging was to demonstrate
the flexibility of Fortnite, the concept of Fortnite as a content delivery
platform. As a scripted event utilizing the game’s engine, server architecture,
and assets the concert is quite impressive. The crowd does end up looking
a little thin because it turns out 60 people per match just isn’t that many if
you’re trying to simulate an actual audience, but players manoeuvring virtual
bodies need a bit more space to do things than real people, and keeping the
population low mitigated problems with players who were accessing on lower end
hardware or internet connections, minimizing the odds that they would lag
out or just crash entirely. As a delivery platform however? Well it demonstrates
the flexibility and possibilities that fortnight offers if your DJ Marshmello.
The concert isn’t actually built in Fortnite. It’s full of bespoke assets
and scripting that could only be constructed with the active
participation of Epic Games. While Fortnite has a creative mode that
allows players to build their own spaces, even very impressive spaces, nothing like
this is remotely doable. While it’s possible to put on a concert in
Fortnite, it’s not possible for you to put on a concert in Fortnite. The actual
audience for this specific message is big-name collaborators. Epic is
advertising the idea that Fortnite is a viable venue for crossover promotional
opportunities. This is all part of the concept of games as a “live
service” so we should probably spend some time disassembling that particular
narrative concept. Fortnite isn’t really a game. Like
there’s a game attached to Fortnite but that’s not the core of Fortnite.
Fortnite is first and foremost a storefront. The monetization systems in
Fortnite Battle Royale are seemingly simple on their face, but
well join me on a journey. The two arms of for Fortnite’s monetization are the
battle pass and the item shop, both of which are fueled by an in-game token
currency called V Bucks. V Bucks are used here, as in most other micro transaction
based games, as a means to bypass financial regulations involving held
value and some regional laws surrounding gambling with regards to loot
crates, because in many regions it doesn’t count as gambling if the
currency involved is non-fungible. Basically in a lot of places it doesn’t
legally count as gambling if you’re gambling with fun bucks that can’t be
converted back into legal tender, so things that utilize all the structure,
vocabulary, and psychological mechanisms of gambling, like video game loot crates
or Gachapon toys, aren’t technically gambling as far as the law is concerned
because you can’t convert your winnings directly back into dollars. Additionally
the use of V Bucks also allows Epic to obfuscate the assigned value of both
in-game purchases and the value of V Bucks themselves by giving buyers a bulk
discount for buying more, and handing out V Bucks for performing in-game
activities. Nominally one V Buck is worth just under
one US cent, but if you buy 10,000 V Bucks at a cost of $99.99 u.s. you get an
air quote bonus 3,500 so the actual monetary cost of anything
you buy on the store varies by about 25 percent depending on how many V Bucks
you bought. If you’re confused that’s the point.
The primary utility of funny-money is to relieve you of the pressure and weighing
if this specific skin is worth fifteen dollars… or is eleven dollars? This is on
top of another really common strategy where the amounts don’t scale evenly and
don’t line up cleanly with the costs of actual items, increasing the likelihood
that you’ll always have some left over or will need to buy a substantial amount
in order to get the thing that you want. This particular bit is pretty
common but Fortnite manages to take it to a whole new level. This is ultimately
the meaning of “game as a service”: it’s just a euphemism for a game that takes
up all your free time and becomes the only game that you play because it’s
just an elaborate, constantly resetting Skinner box that utilizes progression
systems and seasonal competition as a means to place you constantly in the
path of an endless stream of monetary interactions. To top it off as a game
Fortnite Battle Royale isn’t even particularly great. The matchmaker is
utterly bare-bones and pays no regard to your performance so you’ll almost always
be matched to the mix of players who are barely functional and several who are so
far above your skill level that you’re not even really playing the same game.
The building mechanics in Battle Royale are unwieldy and create a tremendous
skill gap that contributes to the afore mentioned disparity, but they’re also the
whole gimmick that the game is built around so that’s kind of take it or
leave it. The game is full of weird unpolished
edge cases like vehicles all using slightly different control schemes even
for shared functionality. You get on a hoverboard and the speed boost is bound
to left-shift but on a quad crasher boost is spacebar, even though left shift
isn’t bound to anything on the quad crasher. Because of the way that systems
interact, in particular the ways that the building mechanics are vital for
defending against long-range attacks but are also so effective for either closing
distance or escaping that the mid-range effectively barely exists. The game
biases extremely heavily towards shotguns, basically becoming a contest of
closing distance and gaining height so you can land a shotgun headshot on your
opponents. If you strip out everything else the game is a moderately okay
shooter with a unique twist and a compelling aesthetic. It’s not dire, but
it’s kind of just barely good enough to stand on its own without the rest of the
hooks. And oh boy does Fortnite have hooks. The item shop is pretty grotesque
when you break down its underlying mechanics. In contrast to pretty much
every other game on the market Fortnite only displays 10 to 13 items at a time
rotating on a daily basis. This has the dual purpose of obfuscating
what’s available and creating a FOMO response or fear of missing out. If you
see something you like you have a limited window in which to purchase it,
and with the total inventory of products obfuscated there’s no sense of how long
it might be until that particular item is available again or even if it will
ever be available again at all. Incidentally Alfonso Ribeiro isn’t just
suing epic because his Carlton dance made it into the game, but because they
took his work and were selling it for 8 bucks a pop. The other arm of the
monetization system is the Battle Pass which costs a little under $10 u.s. and
ties into the seasonal progression track system which is itself broken into two
tiers: freed and paid. Fortnite cyclical gameplay is broken up into ten weeks
seasons and the battle pass applies only for a given season. The paid track just
throws piles of stuff at you every tier to incentivize playing more, including an
early perk of an experience boost next season just in case you were maybe
considering not getting the next battle pass ten weeks from now. What’s
interesting about the free track is that it doesn’t merely make use of FOMO
psychology. It’s not just saying “oh look at all this stuff you’d get if you
bought the battle pass.” Though, I mean, it is literally saying that right there. But
in addition to that it’s making use of hostile design. The free track actually
ends at tier 62. Though the season track goes until 100 there’s no additional
free rewards past this point. From here it’s not simply a matter of a fear of
missing out. The entire battle pass system is founded on the dopamine rush
of unlocking something new every few hours of play to keep players coming
back. Within that context the point where the game stops giving you stuff entirely
the game is withdrawing the thing that it used to get you hooked. It is
punishing you for having dared play this long without paying. This is manufactured
discontent. And make no mistake you will have to play a lot to get to this point.
Again with the layers of deliberate obfuscation, the broad progression
systems are broken into two parts: first account level, which is
itself broken into total level and seasonal level, and the Battle Pass which
we’ve discussed. Progressing in level is done by earning experience which is
rewarded at the end of every match while progressing the battle pass is done by
earning battle stars. Battle stars are rewarded in amounts
ranging from two to ten for every level and for completing challenges which come
in daily and weekly flavors. Daily challenges tend to be fairly
straightforward, ranging from placing in the top twenty five to scoring a number
of takedowns with a specific weapon type, while weekly challenges tend to get more
varied and abstract and include things like visiting specific locations on the
map. Now briefly I want to touch on the psychological design elements of the
weekly challenges and the way that they’re presented. First there’s the
element of FOMO in that the completion reward of 5,000 XP, a substantial amount of
experience, requires completing four challenges but only three are available
for free. Second the paid battle pass challenges aren’t simply locked but are
turned into a mystery box. If you don’t pay you don’t even get to see what they
are. Tantalizing isn’t it? You only need one more. You’re so close. Well let’s go
back to these tracks. They’re presented as roughly analogous, literally in
parallel, but progression along these tracks aren’t even. The gold tier players
have access to more challenges which reward more battle stars which in turn
reward direct experience on top of experience multipliers. Gold players
don’t just get more they get it faster and with less effort. So this point, tier
62, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll actually get to this point without
playing a lot of Fortnite every single day. I’ve actually needed to play a lot
of Fortnite pretty much every day in the course of making this video, both in
order to ensure I understood the game itself well enough to speak about it
confidently, and also just to get these specific kinds of footage I was looking
for. And at the midpoint of season 8 I’m less
than halfway there. This maybe seems like I’m just
complaining about the free-to-play players not getting enough stuff, but
that’s not actually the point. The underlying purpose of demonstrating all
this is to show the mechanisms that the creator’s are willing to employ. These
psychological tricks are in effect a form of rhetoric, a form of persuasive
speech. They are trying to persuade you by applying select forms of pressure and
it is, I think, worth understanding the mechanisms of that pressure so that we
can better recognize how and when we are being persuaded. Also it’s worth keeping
in mind that as a season is only ten weeks long a paid player can slip back
into being a free player at any time. In order to retain all the perks of being a
paid player one would need to buy all four to five season passes every year.
All of this goes hand in hand: the Marshmello concert isn’t a thing
happening in parallel to the monetization systems, it’s a core pillar.
The external purpose of things like this are fairly straightforward. It’s a
publicity stunt, an oddity that people will talk about. The cost of assembling
the technical aspects of the concert and paying Comstock for his participation
were effectively weighted against a direct ad buy, and based on the coverage
Epic/Tencent is probably pretty happy with the outcome. The internal purpose is
a little more arcane and I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to use the word
sinister. The purpose of the concert is to utilize the social pressure of
exclusion. Let’s take a closer look at a couple key moments. Let me see everybody doing that Marsh Walk right now let me see that Marsh Walk Find your squad then let me see your favourite emote let me see what you go let’s go Alright I want to see everybody doing their favourite emote right now on the drop let’s go if Marshmello is calling out for you to
use your favourite emote, well if you haven’t paid in odds are you don’t have
any or the ones you do have are going to be pretty generic and lame. Events like
the concert create environments where the ability to self express is placed at
a premium. In order to feel like a full and active participant you need to be
able to perform. The catch is that literally every unique action has an
attached price tag. Let me see everybody doing that Marsh Walk right now, let me see that Marsh Walk and there are some things that you’ll simply never get
without paying. Players who haven’t bought a skin don’t even have control
over their basic image. There isn’t a roster of default looks to choose from;
your look is assigned randomly after every match. There isn’t just a layer of
FOMO, the sense that others around you with cooler, more expressive character
models are having more fun, are better able to project themselves into the
social space, there’s a level of hostility in the design. If you don’t buy
in you aren’t merely limited in your options of expression, you are actively
denied control over the most basic element of how you choose to look in the
virtual world. Nothing that Fortnite does is particularly new. These complex
monetization systems with multiple layers of obfuscation, you can find this
in pretty much any mobile game, and plenty of desktop and console games are
laden with cosmetic microtransactions, legally dubious gambling, and other ways
to aggressively monetize the game. Lots of games use progression systems and
incremental rewards as part of their core loop to keep players playing.
Fortnite is really just a maturation of those systems, a refinement of every
habit-forming trick and micro transaction pressure point developed in
the last decade condensed into a weaponized product targeted at kids. One
of the articles that originally called my attention to all of this was one Nick
Statt wrote for The Verge titled “Fortnite’s Marshmello Concert was a
Bizarre and Exciting Glimpse of the Future”. I
disagree with Nick’s breathy excitement, but on the whole he’s right. Fortnite is a
glimpse of the future. An awful, perpetually monetized,
vertically-integrated, vaguely hostile future.

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100 thoughts on “Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite

  1. I’m rewatching this video in October 2019, recovering from an Ulnar Release operation at the elbow on my right arm (for a severely damaged ulnar nerve), & all that exuberant 'arm action' is mentally undoing the delicate cutting & slicing work of my Orthopaedic Surgeon! My arm’s basically feeling like it might unravel after viewing such non-stop frenetic appendage waving!

  2. wait did i miss an entire folding ideas video because everything else on my dash on April 1st was a convincing intro leading to glorified rickroll? oh my god

  3. Just like with everything video game publishers touch games as service isn't necessarily a bad thing. Being able to play a game you love for a long time with continued support is aweomse. The problem comes with how publishers abuse it to mentally manipulate people and try to bleed them dry of money.

  4. Stopped watching. Can't stare at that fucking wave a moment longer. Top tip manufacturing discontent in a video game may prompt sales. Doing it in a fucking youtube video prompts moving on.

  5. There's another fascinating element of the concert event, which is baked into the very design of the space and its "gameplay". Weapons and damage are disabled; as well, the pre-recorded nature of the concert is not some malicious secret. These factors implicitly signal to players that the only reason to participate in the space is to interact with other players in a way devoid of actual gameplay, leaving the emphasis entirely on one's cosmetics and emotes.

  6. The moment you highlighted March Mello calling for audience participation and knowing that they could only participate via cosmetic purchases, and how much it cost, gave me depression. Thank you.
    I don't often click like on a video but… here you go. Good job.

  7. Fortnite reminds me of that movie Gamer. Kind of a bad movie, but it's "social network" VR platform is eerily similar to Fortnite.

  8. I thought the concert was just going to be "A concert but you don't have to go there physically and get to jump around as a video game character", a neat concept I'd welcome in any MMO.

    When he said "Let me see that favorite emote" I got chills. It's all wrong. Every part of this screams wrong. I hate this. I want out of this capitalist shitworld

  9. If only this made the news; instead of how video games are negatively influencing your kids, how about how corporations are greedily preying on your kids' pyscholigies.
    Anyone listening? Only those who care… Damn.

  10. There's obviously design involved to get people to keep playing, but I don't think it goes as deep as you describe. The battle pass and Challenges are absolutely there to keep you playing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but that's down to opinion.

  11. 12:40 agreed but Alfonso didn't invent the "Carlton Dance" either, that was a dance that was already floating around too. Fuck fortnite but this also sets a messed up precedent for owning even more of human culture

  12. People are acting like Fortnite was the first game to have live concerts, I swear AQWorlds was doing that shit back in like 2010… and even they probably weren't the first…

  13. holy fuck. this is the worst mansplaining I've attempted to listen to. who let this redditor out of his cage.

  14. One of my classmates mentioned the DJ marshmellow concert to me and i was like, “Yeah….. I watched a video about it haha……” LOL

  15. Been playing video games for 20 years now (since I was 5) and doing so very adamantly, Even now in my adulthood rarely a week goes by without me sitting down to play video games for a couple hours of so. That said, I still haven't gotten how Fortnite has become such a huge thing. I don't mean this as a "back in my day" kind of comment, or to downput anyone who likes Fortnite, but having played so many video games in my life, Fortnite never struck me as anything particularly amazing or groundbreaking (as the video states), and I find it kinda creepy that the real reason for its success are all these deliberate psychological tricks it plays on you. It misses the essence and beauty of what a video game is imo.

  16. I really enjoy your deconstruction and analysis (regardless of sometimes differing views, I always come away feeling like I've learned something or been introduced to a new perspective), but this is just excellent; even above and beyond your usual high bar. Great work.

  17. "Yo lemme see your favorite emote"

    Jesus, he may as well be saying "Yo lemme see yo moms credit card. Yo which a you kids have spent the most money let's go!!!"

  18. 17:20 No? There's 1500 V-Bucks in the paid Battle pass in total. If you spend like an hour only doing challenges and play the game a bit in the entire season you already have the 950 V-Bucks necessary to have the next battle pass.

  19. baffled that you didn't mention Phantasy Star Online 2 at all, which has been having digital concerts for a long time

  20. I know I'm late to the party ebut player unknowns isn't based off a movie, rather it started as a mod for arma 3 then became its own game

  21. I didn't play fortnite long. I didn't understand most of what was laid out here, but I got the feeling they were doing something sketchy. I downloaded the game, then looked around for how to customize my character, found out I can't customize or even pick premade models for free, despite that they have free models available, they just assign you one at random unless you pay them. That set off my "someone is using some sort of psychology against me" alarm and I backed the hell out of there and never looked back. After this I'm pretty sure that was a good move

  22. I always assumed the business model would be pressing onto emotional extortion, but it is even worse than imagined.
    Phsychology at its worst, executed against children and other consumers.

    Personally I am boycotting anything with a bad business model, but obviously the mainstream doesn't.

  23. fucking disgusting. my nephews ask to play this, i say no way… they have minecraft, which they love because the game is enjoyable, not because they're brainwashed to like it.

  24. I got tired of Overwatch and decided "Fortnite has a cool aesthetic, I'll try Fortnite"
    more connection problems
    less punchy, less intuitive gameplay
    literally everything behind a paywall
    bends over backwards to make spending money on it look like a good idea
    "OK, maybe losing duels to Moira isn't so bad"

  25. Does anyone else remember when this channel used to have no likes and dislikes on it's videos. I mean even months old videos which was so amazing to me that I didn't even want to mention it for fear of ruining it. So anyway I just wanna know if that was just me or if anyone else noticed that.

  26. Then a challanging opinion to the video. How would you run a f2p pvp game? They don't make games as a charity and they need to make money. I don't think anyone with say that that lootboxes are more ethical then then battlepass/fortnite storefront. How would you do it?

  27. The big asterix on this is that it's not just about delivering content through Fortnite, but also through Unreal Engine 4 in general. As the engine also runs not just on PC, but consoles and even more importantly mobile, as UE3 proved that Epic could put a traditional game engine on a mobile platform.

    It's not just a big flex that "oh it's fortnite," rather a bigger flex for developer or corporate overlords.

  28. I just hope, that at some point all the people will just deal with their insecurities and will stop buying garbage. Why play Fortnite, when you can play Dark Souls NG+9000?

  29. I recently downloaded Fortnite for my kid with the express purpose of getting the Marshmello skin. I was confused by the item shop and the limited supply of what are essentially infinite “goods”. I searched through the whole UI to find the rest of the skins, thinking I must be missing some key search bar or something, then I noticed the timer counting down to when the skin selection changed (every 24 hours).
    That’s when it struck me “oh these scum fucks are doing the ‘FOMO’ trick… TO CHILDREN!”.
    I had to explain to my kid that you can’t just buy any skin you want, YOU HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE IF THE SKIN CYCLES BACK THROUGH. Classic carrot and stick shit.
    Now I’m wondering if I’ll habe the cash to buy damned V-Bucks if/when the Marshmello skin does loop back around to availability.
    I take a slight interest in consumer psychology, just to try and catch a glimpse at that invisible hand guiding us all in to buying bullshit like skins for a mediocre children’s game. Buying PIXELS!
    And I googled “Fortnite FOMO” and didn’t find anything. But Philosphy Tube put out a video that mentioned this video. So here I am.
    Glad to see someone else is paying closer attention.

  30. Its expensive to believe your FOMO instead of the other way around, where no one want's you to know they're the ones that fear of missing out if you were to find out about their lives.

  31. This is the 3rd time I've watched this video. It's tremendous stuff. I got into Team Fortress 2 when the beta came out as I had it on preorder. Over the years I've watched it evolve trying to keep up with current fads etc. I think at some point they were confident enough with their product as you don't hear about it any more so, and I don't play it these days, so therefore aren't shoehorning their product to fit this new style like so many others did (MK11 wtf Netherrealm). Anywho! In that time I was lucky enough to gather up extremely rare items. I imagine the values of which have shifted since I last played in like 2016. I sorta get that "I have invested in this and now I have shiny returns" vibe Fortnite survives on. But gosh you can't get me into that game. Tried it on PS4 and Switch… it's just not enjoyable. I don't think it's supposed to be. From my young relatives I see that there's a peer pressure to get it but soon that pressure is replaced with it's own addictive hooks.
    But oh Mortal Kombat 11. I felt the FOMO drive with that, recognised it, grew disgusted with it and moved back to Smash Bros for my daily fighting game kicks. The irritating thing with MK11 is that the base gameplay – the COMBAT, and even the krypt to some degree – ARE FUN AND ENJOYABLE. Predators just turn me right off. If I had any fear of missing out I'd be gutted. Instead I'll play something else 🙂

  32. this business model should be illegal because kids are playing (and don't know the value of money) and frankly, buying virtual swamp land in Florida … along with other negative effects, i.e. training them for when they are adults. Nothing wrong with the shareware model. I wonder if the Chinese version has the same microtransaction system. China in the past has been very strict with video games. I'm scratching my head as to why Trump hasn't addressed the issue and win points with his constituents.

  33. So… what I'm hearing here is that a Chinese company aimed psychological weapons at teenagers by a semi hostile takeover of a video game company

  34. Ik this is just my experience but I have played fort nite since beta, never once bought anything, and never felt the urge to, at the end of the day the game is fun, free, consistently updated with new mechanics and content, and accessible, (cross platform and free) so I can play with my roommate who has a ps4, or my girlfriends little brother cuz it’s free and on switch, just saying if you don’t buy into this “FOMO exclusion” bs the games is basically a feee AAA multiplayer experience

  35. It's incredible how an unfinished game became this mess of a global phenomenon with a legacy that will likely be brimmed with nostalgia in ten years time, and those future post-Gen Z kids won't realize they were manipulated into loving a product that set a precedent for their future games.

  36. I love how we’re moving into an age where we have to teach our children about sophisticated psychological manipulation before they’re old enough to even be curious about sex.

  37. what? a "free to play™" game with colorful soft stylized image which is mostly targeted at kids and gullible people turns out to be evil and greedy? nooo never heard of such things before…

  38. wow, capitalism, ruining a fun and interesting group activity by commodifying and compartmentalizing it down to its atomic structure, and then ruthlessly employing the darkest of psychological tricks to extract maximum value from children? unheard of!

  39. I taught middle school science for a bit, and they straight up made fun of one another using the term "no skins." When they said that "no skins" don't necessarily play worse than other people, they clarified that you didn't want to be a no-skin because it meant that you were a scrub or a hack.
    They didn't know it, but the degree to which Fortnite had indoctrinated them into this thinking was wild to me.
    It's comparable to what sneakers were back in the 90's, but constantly, every day, and with an even funkier pricing model.

  40. so videogames are the new sunday cartoons, the animation is secondary to the merchandise, it just has to be passable

  41. Apex: Legends is better— but seriously: just play a real game. Like Disco Elysium. Where you can RP as a communist. With voices by members of Chapo Trap House. $31.99 on Steam until the end of the holiday sale.

    This comment was not sponsored. It’s just a really good game.

  42. Remember when unlocks were THE reward system in games? Complete a Challenge = Unlock a reward.

    Removing that entire reward system, even if "purely cosmetic", and locking it behind a paywall, inherently makes games less rewarding to play. And even receiving the unlock after paying is less rewarding, because you have simply purchased it, rather than having to complete the in game challenge. I think that may be why I find myself less and less interested in where mainstream gaming is going.

    In short – microtransactions are a cancer.

  43. 4:54 when he starts getting to the point. Like damn, this actually ended up being a decent video and I'm glad I watched through, but the beginning was way too cringe even for an April Fools joke.

  44. I want to be like Dan Olsen. Theoretically, of course, I actually don't know the guy personally. However, from what I can observe in his videos and twitter:

    a nice home
    a social life
    a creative career
    still has time to play lots of WoW and Fortnite

    Pretty slick tbh.

  45. Me when I first saw Fortnite being played: oh that's interestingly progressive that the default character model is female, that's different for a shooter game.

    Me now: Oh they did that because boys playing the game won't want to be a girl and will be more likely to buy skins so they don't have to be. great.

  46. "Lots of games use progression systems and incremental rewards as part of their core loop, to keep players playing. Fortnite is a maturation of those systems, a refinement of every habit-forming trick and micro-transaction pressure point developed in the last decade, condensed into a weaponized product targeted at kids."

    All the strongest manipulation techniques are now aimed at the most impressionable among us.

  47. Wow. I thought I understood how manipulative Fortnite was but it is so much worse! The mainstream media harps on how damaging the violence is which allows the gambling mechanics to slip by like a Trojan. The true damage is the psychological manipulation of minors. This is the best exploration of thst I have yet seen, kudos.

    And to think my 7yo nephew plays this, obsessively. Ye gods.

  48. Calling the building mechanic a “gimmick” shows your biased when it comes to the actual gameplay for Fortnite. Judge the business model all you want but Fortnite’s gameplay is unmatched, and the way you play is a form of self expression which good, actual players of the game value much more than pointless cosmetics.

  49. I have had a super long running argument with a few of my friends about fortnite; the cornerstone of my argument was that Fortnite IS NOT a game. I knew this statement to be true so deeply that it echoes in my soul still to this day, however, I refuse to engage with the game more than the 3 rounds I played of it because it’s so boring, disheartening, and causes so much discontent. Thank you not only for your sacrifice in playing so much of this garbage but doing so in order to make a concise, accurate, and very critique. Subscribed

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